The Plumbing Checklist All Homebuyers Need

Buying a home is an exciting time in your life. In addition to finding a home that has all of your must-haves — such as a fireplace, spacious kitchen and a convenient location — you’ll need to make sure its systems work well. One of the most important of these is the plumbing as the following checklist details:

  1. Hit the Showers

Make sure that you turn each of the showers and their respective faucets on. Not only are you testing them to be sure they work well, you’re also checking their water pressure. Follow this same process with each of the faucets in the home and outside as well.

  1. Flush It

The amount of use your toilets will get on a daily basis is staggering. It comprises more than 25 percent of the 400 gallons of water that the average family uses on a daily basis. Flush each of the home’s toilets and look for things like weak flushing, one that runs for a long time or any gurgling or

  1. Look at the Pipes

The size of a home’s pipes can make the difference between a pleasurable shower and one that is frustrating because of a lack of water pressure. Carefully note the size of the pipes. For the maximum in efficiency and comfort, the pipes that run from the water source to the home should be at least three-quarters of an inch wide. The pipes inside the home need to be at least one-half-inch in diameter.

  1. Inspect the Water Heater

You’ll want to pay careful attention to the water heater. Look for any signs of rust, corrosion and/or buildup that could indicate that it needs replacing. Ask to see documentation of its replacement and when it was serviced last.

  1. Head to the Basement and/or Crawl Space

Though a home’s basement and/or crawl space is often overlooked in favor of those areas that look more comfortable and inviting, an inspection of these spaces can reveal sometimes surprising and valuable information. Some things to look for include any areas of leakage and water damage, as well as repairs that weren’t completed by a professional.

  1. Beware of Lead

Lead pipes can still be found in a number of homes in the United States. They can contribute to the health problems that the one in six children that have elevated lead levels could experience, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If the home still has lead pipes, pass on it — no matter how appealing it is — unless you’re planning to replace its entire plumbing system.

While the above six items should be inspected on each home you tour, they don’t have to be deal breakers. You can use them as a jumping off point for negotiations with a motivated seller.